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Who is responsible for repairing pipes and sewers?

Different pipes: sewers, drains and lateral drains

The underground network of pipes that carry wastewater and sewage away from buildings and properties consist of three types of pipes. These are sewers, drains and lateral drains.The pipes that are responsible for moving wastewater and sewage outside of a property are defined as drains. These drains are then connected to a shared drain which is usually situated beyond the boundaries of the property. This drain is defined as a lateral drain and may run under nearby infrastructure such as a path or roadway. Finally, lateral drains are connected to sewers, and it is the sewer pipes that will take away sewage and wastewater to be treated at sewage plants.

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Who repairs drains and sewers?

In simple terms, any pipes that run outside the boundaries of a property are publicly owned. Therefore, most lateral drains and sewers are the responsibility of local water and sewerage companies. The only exceptions are homes that are not connected to the sewage network, such as homes that depend on a septic tank or cesspit or a small minority of sewers that are privately owned.

Any pipes that are inside the boundaries of a property and are not shared with a neighbour must be maintained and repaired by the property owner. Although the property owner will have to pay for any repairs, the Citizens Advice Bureau does stipulate that the property owner is free to choose which company they want to carry out the work.

Maintaining and repairing pipes requires specialist knowledge and equipment and it is therefore essential that the property owner selects a reputable company. If you want to find out more information about the processes involved in sewer pipe lining Wolverhampton, it is best to speak with an expert such as www.wilkinson-env.co.uk/sewer-repairs-drain-lining-concrete-cutting/drain-repairs/drain-repairs-wolverhampton.

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Although it is not the responsibility of the property owner to repair shared lateral drains and sewers outside of their boundary, it is their responsibility to report it to the water company to ensure the sewage network is maintained efficiently.